Household cleaners and disinfectants contain powerful ingredients to clean our environments and keep our homes healthy. These products should be handled with care to prevent exposure to fumes, spills and splashes, and accidental ingestion. Safe storage and handling of household cleaners and chemicals can protect you and your family from injury associated with exposure. To prevent harmful exposure to household cleaners, store products out of reach of children, follow directions for use on the product’s label, keep cleaners in their original container (repackaging and container transfer can lead to mix-ups and accidental exposures), ensure adequate ventilation when using cleaning products by opening windows and doors, never mix products together (some combinations can be dangerous), and wear gloves and goggles when handling harsh cleaners such as oven cleaners, bleach and drain cleaners to protect skin and eyes. Mixing household bleach and Windex® is a potentially dangerous combination that should always be avoided due to the toxic fumes that are created. Windex® contains ammonia, which can react with the active ingredient in household bleach, sodium hypochlorite, creating a gas called chloramine. Chloramine can cause irritation to the eyes, throat, and lungs, and in severe cases, it can lead to respiratory failure.
As always, the Georgia Poison Center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide support and answer questions related to a potential poisonous exposures or drug information questions. Our team of experts includes pharmacists, nurses, and physicians who are specially trained in toxicology and poison prevention. If you or a family member have questions or concerns, please call our toll-free number at 1-800-222-1222.